Every week I am going to take a look at the international teams, alternating a week between the VSL Reds and the DSL Reds. Since the VSL Reds season started earlier in the year than the DSL Reds did, I will look at them in the first installment of International Monday.
The league is full of very young and often very raw players who have some tools but often aren’t very skilled yet in their careers. The average age of the position players on the VSL Reds as of today is just 18.3 years old, while it is 19.2 years old for the pitchers. The pitchers are averaging 4.6 walks per 9 innings and striking out just 6.2 per inning. What I have picked up on is that guys who aren’t showing solid plate discipline at this level isn’t likely to do much when they get to the US because the control of the pitchers is so poor overall that it likely indicates a very poor eye at the plate. Offensively, power is a premium given the age of most of the players and the fact that they are still mostly growing into their adult bodies. Numbers at this level often don’t tell the full story as there is just so many unknown factors at play.
While we are only just over two weeks into the season (16 games played), there are a few guys over the 50 plate appearances threshold. 19 year old Rusbel Farinez leads the team in OPS with a .372/.500/.488 line with 9 walks and 4 strikeouts on the season. The infielder played in the league last year and hit .286/.366/.364 in 2010. Miguel Mendez is an 18 year old who is hitting well across the board through 51 plate appearances with a .302/.392/.512 line with 4 walks and 3 strikeouts. 17 year old Geraldo Valor (not sure if he is related to Humberto Valor) is hitting .296/.381/.500 with 3 walks and 8 strikeouts (along with 5 HBP’s in 64 PA). While it is early in the season, he is showing very good power for someone of his age.
Carlos Patino is an 18 year old who has thrown11 innings out of the bullpen who has 8 strikeouts and no walks with a 0.82 ERA. Ramon Sarrameda has a 1.59 ERA through 11.1 innings with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. Oswaldo Mieres has 8 strikeouts and no walks in 14 innings with a 3.86 ERA. Josue Castellano is a 19 year old lefty who has a 1.64 ERA through 11 innings.
Early on there doesn’t seem to be anyone really jumping off the stat page like there was last season (Ronald Torreyes). I do want to note that the Reds have had 4 guys start at catcher this season and they have thrown out a combined 45% of attempted base stealers. The pitching staff doesn’t have anyone really missing a ton of bats at this point in the season. There is very little scouting information available on just about all of these guys (in fact, I only know a thing or two about two guys on the entire roster), so that doesn’t mean there isn’t a future prospect of note in the group, but right now there isn’t anyone who seems to be rising above on the team.